Does Real-time Transit Information Increase Ridership?

There's no question in my mind that real-time transit information (bus and train arrival and departure times) increases customer satisfaction. I wondered, though, if there have been any studies about whether it increases utilization of public transit.

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  1. I threw the question out to twitter:
  2. The results are thinner than I'd hoped for. Apparently @OneBusAway did a survey of their customer base, which showed a huge increase in satisfaction, and a small potential increase in utilization. However, it's a self-selected group, not statistically significant, and self-reported.  I was hoping for actual ridership statistics from a transit agency.
  3. Tim Moore reported that at @sfbart, they have no data on ridership impact.  I'm hoping that they will start collecting it. Jay Nath asks a good question: if a transit system has good on-time performance, does real-time data matter as much as just publishing the scheduled time?  (I know I'm pretty happy with the BART scheduled time I get in Google Maps; it's usually close enough.)
  4. If anyone has more information on the following UK studies, particularly links to them, I'd appreciate it.
  5.  I got a number of suggestions for people who might know more.  However, none of them have yet weighed in on the question.
  6. And, of course, some anecdotal evidence from satisfied customers, which I include for the references to specific transit apps that people might find useful.
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